New Release Tuesday!!! 11-27-18

Hi guys! This week I want to try something new.  We will go through my ARC(s) that come out, as per normal; then the ones I bought or are considering.  After that, I want to do an honorable mention/ new to me section before closing because I often discover books through blogs and the New York Times book review that may have been out for some time but isn’t getting a lot of chatter for whatever reason.  Let’s get started!

I have one ARC coming out this week:

the adultsI loved and hated this book-  the characters were well developed if sometimes a bit cliché, and the premise was intriguing but there were times where I felt like the presentation could have been better.  The changing narratives was necessary in order to give you background and information on each character and their thoughts, but I felt like this devise was over-used.  There were times where the narrator changed, but the segment did nothing to move the story along.  Then there were pacing issues.  At times we moved so slowly that I had to give myself frequent breaks from the mini drama/ tedium…. then there were sections where you knew it would be important to understand, but it was racing along so quickly that you felt like you lost something.  Despite this, I found the book to be interesting and fairly entertaining.  It won’t be in my list of best books of all times, but it’s a witty and fairly quick read.  I did love Scarlet, even if Poppy and the adults were complete messes.

I have two pre-ordered books that came out this week:

whispered word       The Secret, Book, & Scone Society floored me.  I loved the characters, the town, the author’s word choices….. just everything.  I have bought 13 books from this author simply because I wasn’t ready to let this author go.  (An eight book series that I adored and a few books from other series’ that I am having fun with, but none that drew me like this one.)  Since letting go of the last page, I have waited for the next installment.  This is definitely one of my “read or die” books of the year, and no matter how broke I was, or how many other books I had to read, there was no way I wasn’t buying this one.

Nora just wants peace and quiet, to sell books and heal herself.  Instead she has a teenage runaway with a hospital ID and wearing purloined clothes and bruises.  Who is she, where did she come from?  When a connection is found between a dead customer and her runaway, Nora and her friends must discover is she is a murderer, or the next target.  Then there’s the new business in town, Virtual Genie, a cyber shop that buys people’s unwanted items for cash.  Griffin Kingsley looks like a god-send for the town, listening to his people, plying children with candy and adults with caffeine…. but with the recent murder can the newcomer be discounted as a suspect?

broken heart attack         Little more than a month ago James J Cudney (Jay from This is my truth now) came out with the first book of the Braxton Campus mysteries, Academic Curveball.  Widower and single father Kellan came home for his father’s retirement party and stayed to solve a murder.  Filled with great characters, heart and laughs this one was an instant favorite.  That said, HOLY CLIFF-HANGERS BATMAN!  I couldn’t wait for book two so that I could learn more- and as luck would have it, I didn’t have to because it came out just over a month after the first book.  My preordered eBook dropped yesterday and I am so excited!

Kellan snags a ticket to the college’s dress rehearsal of King Lear and goes with Nana D and her friends.  During the second act on of them seems to have a heart attack but Nana smells a rat.  She wants Kellan to find out what really happened to her friend.  With his romantic and work life already in upheaval will he be able to juggle an investigation with everything else?

Now, for my honorable mention of the week:

og romancing in cyberspace      Lord, where do I begin?  First, I love the name.  This one came out in June but I just saw a blurb for it for the first time in the New York Times book review.  There are no reviews for this in either Goodreads or Amazon, which is odd to me; but for $3.99 and being only 102 pages, how could  I go wrong?  Then there’s the premise- an older gentleman’s tales of internet dating- crazy first dates: a bath-tub meet up, smudging, and other odd incidents- how does this not sound like a great time to everybody?  I bought it immediately and can’t wait to dive in.

 

 

 

So that’s me for the week.  Have I missed any?  Which ones are you excited about?

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The Adults, Caroline Hulse

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Title: The Adults

Author: Caroline Hulse

Pages: 368

Genre: Contemporary Fiction

Is this book part of a series?  No

Publish Date:  November 27th, 2018

Summary:

           Matt and Claire have been divorced for a long time.  But they get along alright, they both love their daughter Scarlet, and they both want time with her over the holidays.  Instead of having her see each parent individually, they decided it would be good for seven year old Scarlet to have a “normal” family Christmas with both of them…. and their significant others.

Patrick is in his forties and divorced with teenage kids that don’t have time for him.  When his girlfriend, Claire, brings up going on holiday with the ex and his new girl…. it’s a bit weird… but what has he got to lose?  Plus, they have areas to run at the campsite, archery, and ten pools.  This sounds like a great place to train for his next great achievement- an Ironman.  

Alex adores her boyfriend Matt even if his slap-dash approach to life drives her nuts sometimes.  She knows Matt hasn’t had Christmas with his daughter since the divorce, and far be it from her to keep him from doing to- even if it is in the most awkward way possible.  Besides, they’re all adults (except Scarlet and her imaginary bunny/ best friend Poppy)…. What could go wrong?

A lot.  A lot could go wrong.  Secrets will be spilled, wine drunk, bad karaoke sung,  jealousy, fights and blood.   Merry Christmas- hope everyone survives!

My thoughts:

To begin, I felt like both these couples were a complete hot mess in the beginning.    Patrick was lying to Claire about his daily habits because she was disgusted by what she considered over-exercising.  She didn’t support the fact that he wanted to be an Ironman and he didn’t really support her choices or opinions either.  It seemed like an odd match there.  Add to that the fact that he and Claire had such different feelings about Scarlet and Poppy- Patrick was ready to kick the imaginary bunny in the tail.

Alex is pretty neurotic.  She has firm ideas on…. not who she is, but who she wants to be- or at least how she wants to appear.  She can’t be the one to stop Matt from following his interests- even when they’re skateboarding (at his age!), smoking weed (at his age!) or dragging her to a holiday with his perfect ex and the daughter that hates her.  She can’t be the one to back out.

Watching the grown ups try to keep their cool during crazy situations was interesting.  Seeing how they perceived things, and how they interacted with one another.  I will say that the book was a bit of a muddle- there seemed no reason behind the changing narrator at times except to get into someone else’s head and I often felt like it didn’t move the story along.  Parts would move quickly- the very beginning for example was a huge information drop that made me feel like I had to keep up- whereas other sections went slowly.  It did gain momentum toward the middle of the book and held a good pace after that.  All in all, I liked it; but it wasn’t the best book ever.  I give it a three.  normal star ratingnormal star ratingnormal star rating

On the adult content scale there was drinking, drugs, language and sexual content.  I would give it a seven.  Parental Guidance

I was lucky enough to receive an eARC of this book from Netgalley and Random House Publishing in exchange for an honest review.  My thanks!

The book comes out 11-27-18.  Is it on your TBR list?

Link to book:

Amazon

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Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Gridelwald, J. K. Rowling

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Title: Fantastic Beasts: The crimes of Grindelwald

Author:  J. K. Rowling

Pages: 304

Genre: Screenplay, YA, Fantasy

Is this part of a series?  Yes, Fantastic Beasts book #2 ( I understand that this will be a five book series).

Published: November 16th, 2018

Summary:

           While being moved from America to England, Grindelwald escapes and starts his campaign to gather his supporters and begin his crusade to raise wizards up in the world so that they rule over non-wizards.  Lines are drawn and loyalties are tested as Dumbledore and Grindelwald gather their allies.  

       Newt doesn’t want any part in any of that, but when Dumbledore comes to him for aid he answers the call.  It seems simple enough…. There are wizards that want to kill Credence, and some (Grindelwald) that want to use him.  But, with help, there might be hope for the boy.  If there is a way for the boy to live, and not be a danger to anyone, doesn’t he deserve that?

        In other news, Queenie and Jacob are an item now- with very different ideas about where their relationship is going.  Jacob knows what will happen if they marry… he can’t risk Queenie going to jail for him.  Queenie wants what everyone else is allowed to have- love, a family.  Grindelwald tells her he wants their people to be “free to love”…. is he actually the answer?   Sides are being chosen for a fight that will forever change the wizarding world…. which side are you on?

My thoughts:

I am torn here.  I loved this screen play and I really, really liked the movie (I didn’t feel right doing my review until I had seen the movie, nor seeing the movie before reading the screenplay…. I am weird like that).  That said, this was more of a plot moving device than something I can see running on it’s own merit.  If I didn’t already love the series, and wasn’t already invested, I might not have even cared about this one- but it’s so important.  You have your first  look at young Dumbledore, already a bit of a legend if only a teacher at Hogwarts.  There’s the fan favorites from the last book: Newt, Tina, Jacob, Queenie, Niffler and Pick.  We also have some new characters that may be very important later- Nagini (Credence’s friend), Leta Lestrange (Newt’s childhood friend and his brother’s fiance), Nicholas Flamel, and other.  Add to that, some great stuff with Newt and the beasts and I am set.  

             That said, I feel like there’s so much more that could have been done here.  It was full length for both screenplay and movie…. but felt like nothing really got done.  This was necessary to introduce the key players and explain future conflict.  If you aren’t already sold on this series, though…. it can be a bit underwhelming.  Visually, it’s stunning… but the first movie had better graphics and was all-around more eye catching.  I also don’t know how well it’s doing- well, I hope…. but the movie came to theaters 3 days ago and I had the 3D screening to myself (hopefully just because it was a Monday).  I loved seeing Niffler again, and the little nifflers.  Pick was great and we saw some other beasts, which I felt were well done- the movie really helped me flesh those out it my head.  

         I didn’t like Queenie’s role here.  She was all over the place…. understandably, but come on!  I wanted her to be stronger, but I fear that she’ll just be a pawn.  I feel bad for Jacob- and absolute favorite of mine.  I did feel that Depp made a fantastic Grindelwald- he’s supposed to be charismatic, strong, a bit evil but someone that people would gravitate to.  Nailed it.  Dumbledore’s casting, as well, seemed to be spot on.  I really liked his character.  Having information from everyone’s pasts also helped flesh things out.  Why doesn’t Dumbledore just kick Grindelwald’s all?  Find out in this book.  Who is Credence?  Find out in this book.    Despite not feeling like it can stand on it’s own, I am a HUGE fan of this one… but only because I am taking it as an installment of a series instead of just for itself.  Three and a half stars… round up to four for the movie.

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On the adult content scale, there’s violence, but all things considered it wasn’t over the top at all.  I give it a three.  General.svg

The screenplay and the movie are both out (don’t get me started on the fact that they released the same day…. I couldn’t go to the movie on opening night because of this).  Have you guys read/seen this?  What are your thoughts?

Amazon

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A Map of Days, Ransom Riggs

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Title: A Map of Days

Author: Ransom Riggs

Pages: 496

Genre: YA, Fantasy

Is this Part of a series?  Yes.  Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children book #4

Published: October 2nd, 2018

Summary:

          Coming back to the normal world after everything in the Peculiar world did not go as smoothly as planned.  Thus, Jacob finds himself being shuttled to a mental hospital until his friends show up.  Saved, he can now think of a way to merge his worlds, maybe even continue his grandfather’s work.  It would seem Abe left a few things behind that could be helpful- including an old partner. 

At the same time, Miss Peregrine’s wards have grown up a lot and are chaffing at the bit a little.  They want to do something important to help, whereas the ymbrynes want to keep them young and sheltered.  When Jacob learns of a peculiar in trouble, he has to go help… and he won’t be going alone.

Armed with Abe’s car, mission log book, a makeshift map and clues via post cards they set out.  Five peculiar kids, only one of which knows anything about the present day and without the permission of their ymbryne… what could go wrong?  Apparently a lot.

My Thoughts:

      First, the fact that this book was coming out surprised me.  I thought the last book was the LAST book, you know?  I was a bit worried that this would be a pale imitation of the other books, a ploy to make more money while the series was still wildly popular.  I was wrong! 

     This book brought a whole new length of the story to light.  I can’t say that I wasn’t curious about Peculiars in America (of coarse there would be some)…. but Riggs made a new world with new rules here.  It was intensely interesting to see how the loops here lived out and to learn more about what Abe actually did.  I also enjoyed seeing how Miss Peregrine’s wards were growing.  I loved seeing them, how they interacted with one another now.  I am hoping this marks the beginning of a new chapter for these books- we could do a lot here!  For me, this is a four star book, only because Riggs broke tense a few times- everything was present day until about 80% into the book then there were some asides that made it sound like this was something Jacob had lived a long time ago.  I had to ding the book a tiny bit for that.  normal star rating normal star ratingnormal star ratingnormal star rating

On the adult content scale, there’s some language and violence, but that’s about it.  I give it a two.  General.svg

The book is out!  Have you read it?

Link to book:

Amazon

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New Release Tuesday! 11-13-18

Hey guys! This week I have one ARC, a book that I am on the fence about, and two books that, while not out yet, will be before next Tuesday. Let’s get to it! I cannot say enough good things about this book.  I read The Story of Arthur Truluv and adored it.  It was gorgeously written and I loved the characters, but it left me a bit unsatisfied.  I wasn’t ready to let go of the other characters.  How is Maddy after the events of the book?  And Lucille?  This book answers those questions, breathing life into these characters and letting you know them better, while introducing even more colorful characters.  I am seriously author-crushing on Berg right now.  Is that even a thing?  Who cares!  Go get the book!! Look alive twenty five
Let’s be real here.  I am a fan of Evanovich.  Her characters are just a hell of a lot of fun!  That said, I have been gravitating more toward the Knight and Moon series, and Lizzie and Diesel than this one.  It just got to be too much- too much sexual drama, too much ineptitude, too many references to Lula’s former profession…. it became a culmination of bit jokes.  Do I still enjoy them?  Yes, they’re my dirty secret.  But they aren’t ones I re-read, so do I need to OWN it?  That said, it’s release day and I am #149 in line at my library for the eBook version.  God knows I have other books (both bought and ARC’s) to read until I get my mitts on it…. but I have never been one for waiting.  What do you guys think?  Buy or borrow?
Now then, there are two that actually come out Friday.  I still want them here because they are this week’s new releases. FB the crimes of...I am so ready for this one!  Seriously, I pre-ordered it and may freak out and set an alarm super early so I can read before work.  I loved Fantastic Beasts and am dying to see what Rowling does with this one.  That, and I am going to see this in theaters so I have to be ready.  I’m so excited!!! Blurb from Goodreads: At the end of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, the powerful Dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald was captured in New York with the help of Newt Scamander. But, making good on his threat, Grindelwald escapes custody and sets about gathering followers, most unsuspecting of his true agenda: to raise pure-blood wizards up to rule over all non-magical beings. In an effort to thwart Grindelwald’s plans, Albus Dumbledore enlists Newt, his former Hogwarts student, who agrees to help once again, unaware of the dangers that lie ahead. Lines are drawn as love and loyalty are tested, even among the truest friends and family, in an increasingly divided wizarding world.   a ladder to the skyBoyne is the author of The Boy In The Striped Pajamas and he’s back with a book that just sounds amazing.  I missed out on the ARC when First to Read was offering and I am still kicking myself.  Of coarse I pre-ordered this one too.  I am just going to leave the blurb from Goodreads here: Maurice Swift is handsome, charming, and hungry for success. The one thing he doesn’t have is talent – but he’s not about to let a detail like that stand in his way. After all, a would-be writer can find stories anywhere. They don’t need to be his own. Working as a waiter in a West Berlin hotel in 1988, Maurice engineers the perfect opportunity: a chance encounter with celebrated novelist Erich Ackermann. He quickly ingratiates himself with the powerful – but desperately lonely – older man, teasing out of Erich a terrible, long-held secret about his activities during the war. Perfect material for Maurice’s first novel.  Once Maurice has had a taste of literary fame, he knows he can stop at nothing in pursuit of that high. Moving from the Amalfi Coast, where he matches wits with Gore Vidal, to Manhattan and London, Maurice hones his talent for deceit and manipulation, preying on the talented and vulnerable in his cold-blooded climb to the top. But the higher he climbs, the further he has to fall… So that’s me for the week.  Have I missed any?  Which one are you most excited for? new sign off

Night of Miracles, Elizabeth Berg

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Title: Night of Miracles

Author: Elizabeth Berg

Pages: 288

Genre: Contemporary Fiction

Is this part of a series?  Yes!  Book two of the Arthur Truluv series.  Be sure to read book one first- it’s pretty crucial.

Publish Date: November 13th, 2018

Summary:

Lucille Howard may be getting on in years, but she refuses to slow down.  Who has time?!?  There are baking classes to teach!  Her classes are so wildly popular she has to hire new-comer Iris as an assistant.

Then, when tragedy strikes next door, there’s a little boy that needs her.  Lincoln’s parents face hard choices, as do many of the Mason residents.  Can she bring her town together and help them through everything?

My thoughts:

I was obsessed with The Story of Arthur Truluv, Elizabeth Berg  when I read it.  I loved the writing style, the characters and their interactions, the premise…. it floored me.  It also left me unwilling to leave- I wanted more!  What happens next?  How is Lucille holding up?  What happens to Maddy?  These characters needed more time!

And here we have exactly that.  Years after book one, we see Lucille again.  Cranky and cantankerous- willing to fight even death for more time.  We see Maddy as a young mother.  We see who they are now and how knowing Arthur shaped them.  We also meet a lot of fantastic new characters that I personally love.  This book has the gorgeous writing I remember, the deep-set emotions, the great characters…. so often the “what came next” book is messy and rushed- just a device to tie things together.  Not here.  You can read this, and love it all it’s own- it carries it’s own weight.  But having seen how certain characters meet, and knowing references to old characters, made this one more fulfilling to me.  All in all this is a five star book for me.  normal star ratingnormal star ratingnormal star ratingnormal star ratingnormal star rating

On the adult content scale, there’s some language, and some drinking.  That’s about it.  I give it a two.  General.svg

I was lucky enough to receive an eARC of this from Netgalley and Random House Publishing in exchange for an honest review.  My thanks!  pro_reader_120

The book comes out tomorrow!  Who’s ready?!?

Link to book:

Amazon

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Top Ten Tuesday- Back list books I want to read

Okay, this is terrifying.  I have WAY too many books on my TBR list because even though I have lots of books, more come to my attention that I need.  It’s an addiction.  So when I saw this, I was like… I have to do this.  Then it started getting real.  Narrowing the hundreds down to 10?  What have I gotten myself into?

its-just-too-much

That said, here we go!  A few weeks ago I had mentioned that I had James J. Cudney’s thrillers.  I had heard about each one on different blogs and had every intention of reading them quickly.  The premises sound so good and heaven knows I adore Jay!  These are going to have to be the first two on my list.

1-2.father figure       watching glass shatter

3.  Strange the dreamer  Another book I heard about from the blogs!  There were so many people just loving this book, the premise was amazing and the cover…. gorgeous.  Why haven’t I read this?  I own it!  I will read it (seriously!).

4.  2 am at the cat's pajamas  I went for this one directly after falling in love with The Elegance of the Hedge Hog.  It sounded smart and interesting…. I really love the idea of it… and I will read it (even though I am pretty sure this was on my last TBR list too).

5.  death and the penguin I found this one at my favorite used book stores for a dollar.  It sounds fantastic- all dead-pan and black comedy.  Let’s be real, though, why did I really buy it?  For this:

‘A Militia major is driving along when he sees a militiaman standing with a penguin.

Take him to the Zoo,” he orders.

Some time later the same major is driving along when he sees the militiaman still with the penguin.

“What have you been doing?”  he asks.  “I said to take him to the zoo.”

“We’ve been to the zoo, Comrade Major,” says the militiaman, “and the circus.  And now we’re going to the pictures.”‘  Yes, that was the front page.  I had to buy it!  

 

6-7.  welcome to the world  standing in the rainbowAfter reading Fried Green Tomatoes At The Whistle Stop Cafe I came upon this one and book two of the series at my book store.  I was still pining for her uniquely quirky characters and descriptions.  I have to read these.  I will read these!

8.  murder in the paperback parlor  I love a cozy mystery and Ellery Adams is a favorite of mine.  I love the characters, the premise, the intelligent humor.  That said, the first book in the Book Retreat series was over the top, even for me (and I have read all the Stephanie Plum books as well as Evanovich’s other, even crazier series’).  Still, there was a certain something about the town, the boys and the crew that I found myself missing.  I have this one And the third book in the series on stand-by.

And for my last two… some that I JUST placed there.  That’s right, October releases that I couldn’t resist!

9.    a map of days  I read this series at the recommendation of one of my bookish coworkers.  I loved it and wasn’t ready to let go with the last book (which I thought was meant to be the LAST book).  I was so excited to see this one coming out, and even more so that it sounds like it may be a bit open ended- like maybe there could be even more?!?  I pre-ordered the eBook AND bought the signed hardback copy… and I still haven’t read it!  I have to.  I am reading an ARC right now, but that is definitely going to be the next free-pick read.

10.  bridge of clay  I loved The Book Thief.  They way Zusak told the story, the character development, the descriptions…. it was gorgeous.  Bridge of Clay, from the summary, sounds like it could be another one like that.  I am super excited to get into it.

So here it is…. a tiny sample of my TBR shame.  The best part?  I have already pre-odered books for November!  Be on the look out for these reviews as soon as i can get my grubby mitts on them:

Patterson_Target_HC Mech_NOT FINAL.indd    FB the crimes of...    whispered word

In my defense, I have been waiting all year for each of these books- ever since I read the last line in the books before them!

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